Em­pow­er­ing cargo ca­pac­ity

The pub­lic ware­house op­er­a­tor has been asked to set up AFS at 10 busy cargo traf­fic ci­ties with an idea to de­con­gest air cargo ter­mi­nals. The new di­rec­tions were given to CWC dur­ing the re­view meet­ing chaired by Food Min­is­ter Ram Vi­las Paswan re­cently in

Cargo Talk - - Front Page -

With an aim to im­prove sup­ply man­age­ment of food grains and com­modi­ties, the Union Gov­ern­ment has di­rected state-run Cen­tral Ware­hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (CWC) to ex­plore eight-key ar­eas, in­clud­ing set­ting up of Air Freight Sta­tions (AFSs) in 10 ci­ties and Pri­vate Rail­way Freight Ter­mi­nals (PFTs).

The new di­rec­tions were given to CWC dur­ing the re­view meet­ing taken here by Food Min­is­ter Ram Vi­las Paswan. The min­is­ter re­viewed CWC’s cor­po­rate plan and gave new di­rec­tions to di­ver­sify in con­text of the gov­ern­ment's pri­or­ity to achieve ef­fec­tive sup­ply man­age­ment of all com­modi­ties.

“The eight key ar­eas are PFTs, In­te­grated Check Post, Price Support Scheme (PSS) op­er­a­tions, scal­ing up ex­ist­ing ware­hous­ing in­fra­struc­ture, multi sto­ried ware­houses, au­to­ma­tion of ware­houses, off­shore ware­houses and Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment (SCM) from farm to fork of at least one agri-com­mod­ity” in­formed BB Pat­tanaik, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, CWC.

CWC has also been asked to ex­am­ine es­tab­lish­ment of In­land Con­tainer Ports (ICPs) at Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangladesh bor­ders, be­sides look­ing at fea­si­bil­ity of

en­ter­ing into pro­cure­ment of pulses and oilseeds.

Ba­si­cally, AFS is for sup­ply chain man­age­ment of air cargo and the gov­ern­ment has asked CWC to con­vert its ex­ist­ing Con­tainer Freight Sta­tions (CFSs) into AFSs on a pi­lot ba­sis. The cre­ation of AFS in busy cargo traf­fic ci­ties will help in pen­e­tra­tion of in­ter­na­tional air cargo ac­tiv­i­ties into man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­sump­tion clus­ters lo­cated in the hin­ter­land.

Echo­ing sim­i­lar views, Pat­tainaik shares, “After the suc­cess story of Con­tainer Freight Sta­tions (CFSs) and In­land Con­tainer De­pots (ICD), the gov­ern­ment thought of set­ting up Air Freight Sta­tions (AFSs).”

“CFSs were ini­tially es­tab­lished in Mumbai and Chen­nai with close prox­im­ity to ports and this lead to de­con­ges­tion, en­hance level of ef­fi­ciency and re­duc­tion in trans­ac­tion cost. Then after the huge suc­cess of the CFS con­cept, the gov­ern­ment has come up with the idea of ICDs. After then, th­ese CFSs are deal­ing with only 30 per cent of the to­tal cargo, and 70 per cent of that moves straight away to rail/road ICDs on to hin­ter­land. Fol­low­ing the chain of thought, the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion thought to de­velop the same con­cept for air cargo,”he added.

The first AFS was es­tab­lished in Chen­nai on the rec­om­men­da­tion of CBEC to con­vert CWC’s Chen­nai CFS to AFS on a pi­lot ba­sis.

“The thrust of the Gov­ern­ment in con­vert­ing CFS into AFSs on a pi­lot ba­sis, is to ac­quire land in close vicin­ity to air­ports. Th­ese AFSs will all be equipped with cargo scan­ners, thus the Unit Load De­vices (ULDs) can be ex­am­ined, sealed by cus­toms, and then loaded to cargo planes for im­ports,” un­der­lined Pat­tanaik.

CWC has also been asked to con­vert its 32 ex­ist­ing freight sta­tions at rail side ware­houses into pri­vate ter­mi­nals and ex­plore set­ting up new rail­way freight ter­mi­nals in part­ner­ship with the pri­vate sec­tor.

Com­ment­ing on the same, Pat­tanaik said, “Cur­rently, Rail Freight Sta­tions are op­er­ated on a profit shar­ing ba­sis with the Min­istry of Rail­ways. CWC has been asked to ex­am­ine a sim­i­lar business op­por­tu­nity with the pri­vate sec­tor.”

Be­sides rail freight, the pub­lic ware­house op­er­a­tor has been asked to set up In­land Con­tainer Ports (ICPs) at Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangladesh bor­ders. CWC cur­rently has one ICP each at Amritsar and Agar­tala.

That apart, CWC has been di­rected to ren­o­vate its old ware­houses into multi-storey build­ings for stor­age of white (elec­tronic) goods in Delhi, Ban­ga­lore and Chandigarh. As part of short term plan, CWC has also been told to au­to­mate all 468 de­pots and spe­cialise in sup­ply chain man­age­ment of one agri com­mod­ity from farm field to mar­ket. It has also been di­rected to ex­pand its op­er­a­tions abroad and ex­plore business op­por­tu­ni­ties in SAARC na­tions.

CWC, which has 470 ware­houses and han­dles 400 com­modi­ties in a stor­age ca­pac­ity of 104 lakh tonnes, has been in­formed to im­ple­ment the above in a phased man­ner in six months to two years pe­riod.

BB Pat­tanaik

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, CWC

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